<b>Place, Class, and Race in the Barabra Café</b>

Elizabeth A. Smith

in Cairo Cosmopolitan

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9789774162893
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970269 | DOI:
Place, Class, and Race in the Barabra Café

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This chapter examines several racialized representations of Nubians in media and museums in order to suggest a way to understand such debates on their own terms without stopping at assertions for or against the existence of racism. Dominant discourses about national unity appearing daily in the semiofficial press assert that Egypt does not “have” an issue with racism, ethnicities, or minorities in such terms, formulated in reference to a global discourses about race, ethnicity, and minorities and democratic ideals of equality among citizens. The chapter considers here the complexities and historical development of how such racialist discourses—based on the social-historical association between phenotype, language, and culture—do operate in convergence with class and gender. To be clear, color in Egypt does not form the basis for collective identities such as “black” or “white,” or any other color. More significant are class, most importantly, region, religion, and family.

Keywords: Nubians; national unity; racism; ethnicity; minorities; class; gender; Egypt

Chapter.  6441 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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